Mistress Margery, a Tale of the Lollards
This is a short book, but it was quite hard to transcribe on account of so much of it being in mediaeval English, with its inconsistent and uncouth spelling.
Margery is a young woman of high birth, who goes one day to hear a sermon preached by one of the new Lollards, who advise people to read the Bible as recently translated by Wycliffe, and to believe only what they find therein. This was directly contrary to the view of the official church, which had made up all sorts of doctrines that could be seen to be not at all supported by the words of the Gospel. Margery can only get hold of a copy of the Gospel according to Saint John.
Margery is very much struck with the words of the Gospel, despite the hostility of all around her. Everyone was far too afraid of the extreme punishment meted out by "Holy Church" to those who questioned its teachings. And Margery ends up by being burnt at the stake for her belief in the Gospel, as opposed to what was taught by the Church.
But you will learn a lot about upper-class life in the early years of the fifteenth century, and if you can put up with the forms of speech, you will gain thereby. Not recommended for audiobook, since a great deal of editing, such as removal of footnotes, conversion of mediaeval speech to modern, and so forth, would need to be done.
Emily Sarah Holt, 1836 to 1893.
There doesn't seem to be much information easily available about Emily Sarah Holt. She is not mentioned in "The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature". She wrote about fifty books, mainly for children, and published over a rather short period of her life. Most of her books could be classified as Historical Novels.
I have an impression from snatches I have read that she lived in a rather upper middle class part of London, which we would call today "South Kensington". It may be significant that she died in 1893 for there was a major flu epidemic that year, which lasted a couple of years after that.
Somebody wrote recently that second-hand copies of her books in good condition are in short supply because her readers a hundred years ago and more so much loved reading their copies that they "read them to bits". This may be a bookseller's hype, but there must be a grain of truth in it. It may well also be true of all the authors we present on, or in conjunction with, the Athelstane website.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century, and sometimes earlier than that. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read either here at the Internet Archive or at www.athelstane.co.uk
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the HTML file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF, HTML and TXT in it, and click on HTML. In this version the entire book appears in the one file, which also includes the style-sheet and any pictures, and is written in xhtml. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for doing so.
Uploaded by Nick Hodson on